Preliminary Hearings

A preliminary hearing does not determine whether an accused person is found ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty,’ but it determines if there is enough evidence to proceed before a grand jury. Though it is often called “the trial before the trial” no convictions or acquittals are made in this type of hearing. Instead, during a preliminary hearing in Texas, it is decided if there is enough evidence for prosecutors to proceed. Occurring for serious felony charges, preliminary hearings are an important step of the criminal trial process.

What if there is not enough evidence?

If it is decided during the preliminary hearing that there is not enough evidence to proceed with a trial, the case could ultimately be dismissed. Likewise, this is exactly what criminal defense attorneys are hoping for. In order for a preliminary hearing to occur, the defendant must request it.

What happens during a preliminary hearing?

Usually the prosecutor will present as much incriminating evidence needed to prove a sufficient amount of evidence. Physical evidence as well as witness testimony will be presented. For less serious felony charges, indictment evidence is presented through a written document.

What if there is a plea bargain?

If a plea bargain is offered before a preliminary hearing occurs, there will be no need to follow through with this initial step. Instead, a guilty plea has already been made, and there is no need to proceed with a preliminary hearing.

Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you love has been charged of a criminal felony, it is of utmost importance to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you have any questions about preliminary hearings and the criminal trial process, do not hesitate to contact Carroll Troberman, PLLC. Our lawyers are skilled and professional–they will fight to protect your rights.

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